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azdrydock

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  1. Great blog'......... How is the temperature in the ship public area? Some past summer cruises the restaurants, in particular, are freezing in the evening. Starting to pack so if we need more long sleeves. Interesting story about HAL excursions and accident. We were on Viking a few weeks ago. The last day, on an excursion, a women slipped and broke her hip. Viking guide was on the scene immediatly and was in contact with the ship and other Viking guides in the vicinity. They took complete charge of the situation. They reassigned the escorts and guides so they had two people at the scene and all of the tours could continue. They interfaced with the passenger and Portuguese EMT's. They didn't like the Medical Center she was taken to so they arranged transfer to a larger hospital in Porto. The passenger was traveling with her nephew and Viking helped him with the insurance company. Since the ship was to be in Porto a few days on the next cruise, they arranged for the nephew to stay in a vacant cabin and also helped him find a place to stay near the hospital until his aunt was able to travel.
  2. agree...... One point many are neglecting is you can still cancel and will receive a refund based on the standard cancellation schedule. Vikings philosophy probably is, if you are willing to put the money up front you are serious and you have the cash on hand. There have some cruises that were sold out that I waited until the first week before the cancellation penalties set in and suddenly large blocks of cabins appeared available. Viking and Oceania have a more difficult time to fill last minute cancellations then NCL simply because of the price. Don't know Swiss accounting rules but I doubt it is counted as a sale until the ship sails. There may be making money on the float but it is not significant in the big picture. That said I.... think it sucks.
  3. The up to $1000 is from the Travel Agent. What you have are discounts from Viking for booking onboard. You are given a limited time to transfer your booking to a travel agency of your choice. The new travel agent is prohibited by Viking from giving you a discount or cash back and some other things. The TA is allowed to give you an OBC. This is usually based on the price of the cruise but is limited by Viking. Online TA's give the best discounts but sometimes the worst service. Your local TA may give lower discounts, if any, but should be able to better help and advise.
  4. I think Viking may have just changed what they allow the TA's to give. I've been tracking a 17 day cruise for next March and the OBC's were running between $300 to $500. About a week or so ago they all jumped up to $1000. Multiple TA's so it is probably Viking sanctioned.
  5. When did you book? The draconian policy went into effect mid December. The only exceptions were to be grand cruises, on board bookings and I think multiple bookings. We booked on boards the day it went in effect and there was much confusion. We ended up getting 6 month for full payment and $100 ea. deposit on both cruises.
  6. Viking defender is back Wow I guess the post office must be sending me all those glossy Oceania booklets a couple of days a week on their own. Really like the ones touting "included air" Judging from the Viking cruisers, happy or not, in this thread they must be part of the "masses" that got sucked in. Reality is Viking and Oceania target the same demographic with different weapons. If your last cruise was a three day MegaShip out of Miami odds are you were not watching the channel or newscast that Viking was advertising on. We are doing just what advertisers want.. we are talking about it
  7. I don't doubt what OP was said, but on 4 VO's never saw eggs bennie plated. There was always a 'display' sitting on the counter. There was a "chef" in the center of the galley poaching the eggs and the servers on both sides yelling the orders to him; sounded like a NY Deli with different accents. About half way through our first cruise I realized if you want something other then what was on display just asked for it. Lunch time, they showed a single sandwich and roasted chicken on display. I asked the server if there was anything else ended up with a different sandwich. Person behind heard what went on and asked if he can get fried chicken instead of the roasted; server told him it will take a few minutes and they will bring it to him. Interesting thing was when he prepared my roast beef sandwich he had a large loose leaf book behind the counter with pictures showing him how present it. On the latest VO's they added a dedicated omelet station and might have had some packaged sandwiches for the grab and go crowd. Agree with the comments about the outside grill seating or lack of on VO. VO meals smaller and lighter then O, more fish choices on VO. As mentioned, you have to cherry pick your Chef's table visits, it is a fixed menu changing periodically and the what is served is something you will either love or hate. The first few days of our O cruise O had the food edge; last few days there was very limited whole fruit, lot's of fruit salads, wilted lettuce etc and many other things indicating they were running low on stocks. This was a subject of conversation throughout the ship. I won't judge O by this until our cruise on the Marina in December. Riviera library.... bring a flash light. Artwork on Riviera depressing..... Service is the toughest thing to compare, both lines were adequately staffed and trained. There are always crew members at the end of their final contract and the young and energetic on their first. Viking free free excursions tend to be general panoramic tours and good for a port that is not a must see for you, Viking tends to monitor and control tours better then anyone. Besides the VOX systems the guides are in contact with the ship all the times. Last year, on another line, most of the excursions arrived back at the same time. Everyone had to get off the buses and wait about 30 minutes in a pouring rain in Iceland because of gangway congestion. A few months latter similar situation with Viking, the V excursion team would not allow a bus to unload until the gangway was clear. We heard the complaining from a local tour manager that he had to have his buses back to the depot and we heard the Viking agent explain who is in charge. We found on our earlier V Cruises most of the passengers had cruised before on other comparable lines. We made friends with Celebrity, Crystal and Azamara loyalists. Not many river rats, more Aussies and Euros then our other cruises. Last cruise in December they announced that close to 70% of the passengers had previously cruised with VO. The VO 1 year or less pay in full policy is terrible. It just cost them a booking with us. Similar itinerary and price on Azamara for late next spring, both with big promos, the booking goes to Azamara strictly because of the payments. We book on iitinerary so O wasn't considered. Viking is still our preferred, but maybe our next O cruise will change this, after all we swore we would never set foot on an R ship again because veranda cabin size the bathrooms and we will probably end up soon booking again.
  8. Been on R's and Viking... There is nothing on the Viking Ships that resembles R. First Viking ship designed 15 years after R went out of business, one is French designed and built the other Italian, Big difference in size and type of propulsion systems. Most of the core technology on the Viking did not exist in the 1990's. At the time of the R demise there was a Royal Viking Cruise Line ( no relation to the current Viking) and I would suspect they would have been interested in the R plans. HAL Prinsedam was an RVCL ship and has the same feel as an R ship.
  9. We have a river in a few weeks and an ocean in November. We are also planning on Sydney to Bali next March with possibly adding Bali to Singapore. Since they advertise a Sydney to Singapore I am not sure the will allow me to book as a B2B. If so I could use multiple river certificates and get a similar deal you got. Only problem is I am worried about cabin availability in November for a March cruise. How did you rate the Sydney to Bali leg?
  10. We were on the Sky and had a similar problem that also included the internet being barely usable. They sent a tech up and he told us it was an easy fix but they have to take the TV off the wall to access the "box" behind it. He asked when we would be out of the cabin because it was a two man job. Looks like they might have made it easier. How do you like your cruise? We will probably do the Sydney to Bali next year.
  11. Same as before.... "Additional bennies if you book within two weeks of end of cruise." .... Last year we got $100 OBC on the current cruise for purchasing the certificates at least 2 days before disembarkation; is this what you meant?
  12. Anyone know what the current incentives are? I know they changed last fall (2018). There was also some mention of actually being able to book Ocean while on River instead of the half price vouchers.
  13. You are never truly motionless. Even something as minor as a tidal change can make a big difference. As mentioned, at that location you are at the fringe of the pattern. You can also add a nearby radar or weather 100 miles to your south as possible loss of signal reasons. Because of land based interference including reflections you can have much worse reception then at the same latitude at sea .
  14. The antennas on the ship are always pointing at the satellite which is seldom directly overhead. As the ship moves to the edge of the "pattern" the antennas points closer to the horizon. At sea this is not a problem but when you are in port there are buildings and other obstructions that raise the visible horizon. A very slight movement may change a usable signal to no signal (same as your cell phone you have to move a few feet for service). There are also issues with interference from other signals in the port. There are a few ports where some ships can connect to the land based internet but this is rare. Been on several cruise ships over the past year and the Viking internet is well above the rest (free or paid). We had a reception problem in our cabin on the Sky and they traced it to a bad access point behind the TV and it was promptly fixed...... Glass mostly full
  15. Sorry, I was referring to your CC signature pic. signing off for a while.... Next cruise starts tomorrow
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